Only Division III program with two full-time strength coaches
PELLA — Central College’s Kyle Johnson has been named a finalist for the NSCA College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award.
Johnson is among four finalists for the honor, which will be announced Nov. 20. Other finalists are Shannon Turley of Stanford University, Cory Walts of Haverford College (Pa.) and Fort Dodge, Iowa native Mike Hill of Georgetown University.
“Kyle does a tremendous job of developing young men and women and in building positive relationships between the strength and conditioning staff and our teams,” said athletics director Eric Van Kley. “He helped create, and continues to build, a culture of personal development for every athlete in our program, both men and women.
“He is extremely knowledgeable about his work and passionate about continuing to improve and serving young people. He is a tremendous asset for Central College.”
On the Central staff since 2008, Johnson was promoted to head strength and conditioning coordinator in 2011. Together with assistant Charles Friday ’12, Johnson leads a highly regarded Division III strength and conditioning program, headquartered in the Ron Schipper Fitness Center. During his tenure and while working with former coach Jake Anderson, Central developed a unique strength and conditioning major through the exercise science department. Johnson and Friday also have 15 student interns, and a growing list of alumni who are in the profession.
Johnson graduated with honors from Central in 2002 and earned a master’s degree in health and human performance from Iowa State University in 2004. Johnson worked as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Iowa State football squad and later was a personal trainer and fitness coach at Delta City Club in Nashville, Tenn. He then spent two years as assistant sports performance director at Velocity Sports Performance in Franklin, Tenn.
While at Central, Johnson was a member of the Dutch football squad, receiving academic all-Iowa Conference honors.
An Elliott, Iowa native and graduate of Villisca High School, Johnson served as a USA Weightlifting club coach and remains a competitive weightlifter as well, winning Olympic lifting titles in the 105-kilogram class at the Georgia Games, the Chattanooga Open and the Southeastern Regional meet in 2005 and the Emory Open in 2007. He’s won titles at the Iowa Open five straight years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and placed 11th at the American Open in 2007. At the national meet Johnson was 12th in 2010 and finished eighth in 2011.